Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do you have glands in your armpits?"
I have a lump in my right armpit that is around the size of a dime. I feel like its gotten a little bigger over the last month or so. Is it just a swollen gland or could it be a tumor? Anything else it could be? I'm getting worried!
The armpit is one of the place on the body where there are a lot of lymph nodes, also known as 'glands.' Lymph nodes are an important part of the body's immune system, and the act by trapping infections so that the body can fight them off. What you are feeling in your armpit is probably a swollen lymph node. The most common reason for a lymph node to swell is after an infection. Sometimes, the swelling can last for several weeks after the infection subsides. However, if the gland you are feeling in your armpit is still growing and not subsiding after one month, then it is probably time to get it checked out. The worry is that sometimes swollen lymph nodes can represent tumors and not simply be swelling from an infection. Your primary care doctor will be able to take a look at the lump and determine if something needs to be done. They may ask you to come back in a few weeks to determine if the lump is still growing. If so, you may need to have a biopsy, in which the node is removed by a surgeon, in order to make sure that it is not a tumor.
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